David Hackworth fades away.
May 6, 2005 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Col. David Hackworth, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall wrote the Vietnam Primer, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website as a soapbox, a best-selling author, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily and Common Dreams.
posted by snarkout (33 comments total)
posted by mlis at 9:35 AM on May 6, 2005


posted by jonmc at 9:36 AM on May 6, 2005


he was great--we need more outspoken military people unafraid of offending those making terrible decisions.
posted by amberglow at 9:49 AM on May 6, 2005

. *salutes* and a further .
Rest in peace, Hack . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:51 AM on May 6, 2005


Excellent FPP, snark.
posted by TonyRobots at 9:57 AM on May 6, 2005

*removes hat*

posted by Scoo at 10:00 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by AlexReynolds at 10:08 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by drezdn at 10:16 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by doctor_negative at 10:21 AM on May 6, 2005

I was bummed when I heard this. I never realized he was that old. He didn't look it to me.

Great man.
posted by teece at 10:30 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by stenseng at 10:37 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by prostyle at 10:38 AM on May 6, 2005

Anyone find a pic of his salad bar?
posted by furtive at 10:43 AM on May 6, 2005

And no disrespect intended to Col. Hackworth's memory, but this highly skeptical overview of his career as a military correspondent and pundit is also worth reading.
posted by snarkout at 10:49 AM on May 6, 2005 [1 favorite]

Brilliant post, thanks.
posted by gsb at 11:06 AM on May 6, 2005

That Slate article is awful snarkout - I have never seen such a terrible misunderstanding of what a soldier needs to be able to do. Comparing an officer wearing medals he hasn't earned to stealing military vehicles and equipment he needed to get his job done?

Everyone knows the most useful man in any unit is the scrounger. That article's authors must have a serious axe-grinding issue. It's good to see a balanced perspective on anything but that was just *ewwwww*

Charles Krohn - media adviser for David Nash, Ex Navy Admiral running the Program Management Office in Iraq.
David Plotz - freelance writer and Slate Washington Bureau Chief.

That explains their point of view then...
posted by longbaugh at 11:11 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by Numenorian at 11:16 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by wolftrouble at 11:21 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by Duncan at 11:22 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by johnny vagabond at 11:30 AM on May 6, 2005

posted by graventy at 12:44 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by rzklkng at 1:14 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:41 PM on May 6, 2005

Individual Decorations & Service Medals:
Distinguished Service Cross (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
Silver Star (with nine Oak Leaf Clusters)
Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal (with "V" Device & seven Oak Leaf Clusters)(Seven of the awards for heroism)
Purple Heart (with seven Oak Leaf Clusters)
Air Medal (with "V" Device & Numeral 34)(One for heroism and 33 for aerial achievement)
Army Commendation Medal (w/ "V" Device & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Good Conduct Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany and Japan Clasps)
National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Service Star)
Korean Service Medal (with Service Stars for eight campaigns)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (2 Silver Service Stars = 10 campaigns)
Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Unit Awards:
Presidential Unit Citation
Valorous Unit Award (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
Meritorious Unit Commendation

Badges & Tabs:
Combat Infantryman Badge (w/ one Star; representing 2 awards)
Master Parachutist Badge
Army General Staff Identification Badge

Foreign Awards:
United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960)
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Gold Stars)
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Silver Stars)
Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class)
Vietnam Staff Service Medal (1st Class)
Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 2d Class
Vietnam Parachutist Badge (Master Level)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (with three Palm oak leaf clusters)
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class Unit Citation (with one Palm oak leaf cluster)

World War II Merchant Marine Awards:
Pacific War Zone Bar
Victory Medal
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:46 PM on May 6, 2005

I remember reading that at one point in his life he was living in Montana and as a Boy Scout leader he would hand out his service medals as merit badges to his " troops ".RIP
posted by harry hood at 2:02 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by alumshubby at 4:09 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by orthogonality at 5:00 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by Heatwole at 5:30 PM on May 6, 2005

posted by UseyurBrain at 5:31 PM on May 6, 2005



that guy was one tough bastard
posted by tkchrist at 5:33 PM on May 6, 2005

One hell of a soldier, no matter how you slice it. But I didn't always appreciate his (what seemed to be) incessant criticism of the military -- it seemed that nothing that was done since his retirement was done correctly or for the right reasons.

But...no denying his leadership, his courage, or his soldiering.

Also...am I the only one who thinks that his catchphrase "perfumed princes" was just weird?
posted by davidmsc at 10:46 PM on May 6, 2005

A good soldier, Colonel Hackworth went to war under the Defense Secretaries he had, not the Defense Secretaries he'd wanted.
posted by orthogonality at 1:35 AM on May 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
posted by Hackworth at 7:05 PM on May 16, 2005

« Older From the follow-up department   |   SOB U SOB Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments